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The Violence Prevention and Action Center (VPAC) serves Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, or Queer (LGBTQ+) survivors of sexual or relationship violence. LGBTQ+ survivors have the same reactions and fears as would any survivor. However, LGBTQ+ sexual or relationship violence survivors may face additional concerns. These concerns are normal.

Fear of Prejudice: Someone who is assaulted by someone of their same sex may fear reporting the crime because of prejudice. They may fear that an officer, hotline worker, doctor, or attorney will judge them because of their sexuality. They might feel like people believe they brought the attack on themselves by being LGBTQ+.

Assumption of Heterosexuality: People assisting a survivor of assault may assume that the person is heterosexual. A survivor may feel uncomfortable correcting that assumption, or disclosing that they are homosexual.

Fear of Being “Outed:” LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual or relationship violence may not have revealed to their friends, family, or community that they are homosexual. They may worry if they come forward to report that this information will be revealed.

This Can’t Happen To Me: Sexual and relationship violence are most often portrayed as crimes committed by men against women. However, these crimes can be perpetrated by men against men and by women against women. The same options are available to survivors of same-sex assaults.

Betrayal of LGBTQ+ Community: LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual or relationship violence may hesitate to report the crime because they feel like they are betraying their community. They might worry that a stigma of violence will be attached to the LGBTQ+ community.

Common Myths:

  • A woman can’t rape another woman or a woman can’t rape a man.
  • Gay men are sexually promiscuous and are always ready for sex.
  • When a woman claims domestic abuse by another women, it is just a catfight. Similarly, when a man claims domestic abuse by another man, it is just two men fighting.

As with all cases, these myths can only be dispelled when they are replaced by truth. This requires that members of the LGBTQ+ community and heterosexual allies speak out and acknowledge sexual assault and domestic violence within the LGBTQ+ community, in order to both prevent future assaults and to provide competent and compassionate care to survivors. The Violence Prevention and Action Center is available to provide support, information, and additional resources.

For additional information click here to view Bravo website which provides information about assistance regarding hate crimes, discrimination, domestic violence, and sexual assault.

Look below for more information about Safe Zone, Staff & Faculty Allies and Gender Neutral Bathrooms, Discussion Groups and Syllabus statements.

Creating a Welcoming Campus and Community: (2014) This guide takes a look at those colleges and universities leading the way in providing curricula and resources to support LGBTQ+ students throughout their college experience. Information on resources, curricula, and student organizations is provided, as well as candid interviews with LGBTQ+ community leaders to help alleviate some of the worries that LGBTQ+ students may have when it comes to post-secondary education.

Fair Housing for the LGBTQ+ Community: (2014) In 2010, The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) offered clarification on its policy to ensure its programs are open to all eligible individuals regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or marital status.

LGBT Activism 101 (2012): Help in the fight for equal rights in Ohio. Around the state, people are organizing and lobbying their local elected officials to expand the rights of LGBT residents. Help expand rights in your community!

LGBTQ+ Student Resources & Support: (2015) According to the National School Climate Report, 86 percent of LGBTQ+ youth reported being harassed at school, compared to 27 percent of students overall. School years can be challenging for all students, yet those who identify as LGBTQ often face additional pressures or concerns. Within this guide, LGBTQ+ students can find resources and information about support systems available to help them navigate both high school and college environments.

Lambda Legal’s Help Desk (2016). Lambda Legal’s Help Desk provides information and resources regarding discrimination related to sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and HIV status. Lambda Legal selects cases that will have the greatest impact in protecting and advancing the rights of LGBT people and those with HIV. While we are not able to take every case, the Help Desk can discuss your legal issue with you, and can provide useful information. This assistance may include follow-up discussions with Lambda Legal attorneys or contact information for an attorney in your area or for other organizations that may directly assist you. All inquiries to the Help Desk are strictly confidential.

Legal Information for LGBTQ+ Survivors of Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence, and Stalking: (2015) Many different issues can impact the lives and safety of survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking. This brochure is a resource to help find legal information you may need and to help you find an attorney. It is not intended to provide legal advice.

Movement Advancement Project (2017): Founded in 2006, the Movement Advancement Project is an independent think tank that provides rigorous research, insight and analysis that help speed equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people. MAP’s work is focused on three primary areas: policy, movement capacity, and effective messaging.

Map of Local LGBT Protections: Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: (2013) Neither the Federal Fair Housing Act nor Ohio fair housing law currently prohibit housing discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity; however, there are many local ordinances which do. The featured municipalities in Cuyahoga County include sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes under local fair housing laws.

National Black Justice Coalition (2017): The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS. NBJC’s mission is to end racism, homophobia, and LGBTQ bias and stigma. As America’s leading national Black LGBTQ civil rights organization focused on federal public policy, NBJC has accepted the charge to lead Black families in strengthening the bonds and bridging the gaps between the movements for racial justice and LGBTQ equality.

Substance Abuse Prevention In The LGBT Community (2018): Culturally sensitive peer support programs, therapy, and community services can help to reduce the risk of substance abuse and mental health problems in the LGBTQ community.

TransAlive! (2016). The TransAlive Akron support group meets on the 4th Tuesday of each month, 6-8 pm at Fairlawn West United Church of Christ 2095 W. Market St. Akron. These meetings are facilitated by TransOhio’s Jake Nash. No matter where you have come from or where your life’s journey is taking you, you are welcome. Gender is fluid and no matter where you fit, wither you identify as an FTM, MTF, cross dresser, gender bender, or just questioning your gender you fit perfectly with TransAlive. We are a family so come and join us. For more information, call Jake Nash at (330) 240-1600.

TransFamily (2016). TransFamily is a transgender support group in the Cleveland, Ohio metropolitan area. We hold regular support group meetings in Cleveland that are open to everyone. All Transgender individuals, family members, friends, spouse/partner(s), and advocates are welcome at the meetings.

Transgender Law Center (2017): Transgender Law Center changes law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression. The Transgender Law Center envisions a future where gender self-determination and authentic expression are seen as basic rights and matters of common human dignity.

TransOhio (2016). TransOhio serves the Ohio transgender and ally communities by providing services, education, support and advocacy which promotes and improves the health, safety and life experience of the Ohio transgender individual and community.

College Guide for LGBTQ Students (2017): For prospective college students who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, or queer (LGBTQ), it’s crucial to find a college with a supportive learning environment where they can thrive. Campus Pride, the predominant national nonprofit organization serving LGBTQ students, functions as a primary resource for such a search. Each year, the site provides a comprehensive listing of the most LGBTQ-friendly colleges in the nation and hosts a college fair specifically geared toward LGBTQ youths and their families.

45 Scholarships for LGBTQ+ Students: While many college campuses have made strides to better the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ+) students, they often face unique challenges in their personal lives and academia; funding shouldn’t be one of them. Scholarships aim to broaden opportunities and make the college transition a successful experience, but with millions of options out there, how do students find the right fit? To help simplify the hunt, Nitro has compiled an extensive list of LGBTQ+ scholarships created specifically for identifying and ally students.

2018 Snapshot of LGBT Equality by State- Ohio. Movement Advancement Project.

2018 LGBTQ Youth Report. Human Rights Campaign and the University of Connecticut.

2017 Bullying of LGBT Youth and Those Perceived to Have Different Sexual Orientations. Retrieved at

2015 Queer People of Color Resource Guide. Crossroad Community for LGBTQ+ People of Color at UW-Madison. Compiled by Sheltreese McCoy.

2010 Campus Pride’s National College Climate Survey. A National Study by the Q Research Institute for Higher Education. Written by Sue Rankin, Ph.D., Warren J. Blumenfeld, Ed.D., Genevieve N. Weber, Ph.D., LMHC & Somjen Frazer, MS, Ed.

(2010). Gender Identity Development. In N. J. Evan, D. S. Forney, F. M. Guido, L. D. Patton & K. A. Renn (Eds.),Student development in college: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 327-345). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

(2010). Sexual Identity Development. In N. J. Evan, D. S. Forney, F. M. Guido, L. D. Patton & K. A. Renn (Eds.),Student development in college: Theory, research, and practice (pp. 305-326). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

“The State of Gay Ohio 2014.” Outlook: the Voice of Ohio’s GLBT and Ally Community June 2014: 32-37. Print.

Legal Information for LGBTQ Survivors of Domestic Violence, Sexual Violence, and Stalking(2015). Many different issues can impact the lives and safety of survivors of domestic violence, sexual violence and stalking. This brochure is a resource to help find legal information you may need and to help you find an attorney. It is not intended to provide legal advice.

2007 Gay-Straight Alliances: Creating Safer Schools for LGBT Students and their Allies. Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network.

2011 National School Climate Survey Executive Summary. For full report click here. Report completed by the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Written by Joseph G. Kosciw, Ph.D., Emily A. Greytak, Ph.D., Mark J. Bartkiewicz, M.S., Madelyn J. Boesen, M.A., and Neal A. Palmer, M.S.

2011 Ohio National School Climate Survey Snapshot. Snapshot completed by the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network (GLSEN). Written by Joseph G. Kosciw, Ph.D., Emily A. Greytak, Ph.D., Mark J. Bartkiewicz, M.S., Madelyn J. Boesen, M.A., and Neal A. Palmer, M.S.

Bellefaire JCB (2016). Bellefaire JCB is an innovative organization that provides exceptional care, education, and advocacy to enhance the emotional, physical and intellectual well-being of children, young adults, and families in the Jewish and general communities. Bellefaire JCB provides its services without regard to race, religion, sex or national origin, and encourages all clients to develop positive identification with their religious and ethnic backgrounds. Please call the 24 hour hotline at 216-570-8010 if you or someone your know needs help.

CenterLink (2017): CenterLink develops strong, sustainable LGBT community centers and builds a thriving center network that creates healthy, vibrant communities. CenterLink envisions communities where lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people have access to flourishing LGBT community centers that advance their safety, equality and well-being.

Familia Es Familia (2016). Familia es Familia is a first-of-its kind, comprehensive public education campaign aimed at creating strong allies with Hispanic communities across the country. For the first time, this effort is being undertaken with major national Hispanic organizations willing to engage as national partners in advancing equality. The Familia Es Familia website is available in English and Spanish, click here to visit the website in Spanish.

Legal Aid Society (2016). Legal Aid’s mission is to secure justice and resolve fundamental problems for those who are low income and vulnerable by providing high quality legal services and working for systemic solutions.

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (2016). PFLAG is a volunteer, non-profit self-help organization founded nationally in 1981. They are an inclusive group of family members, friends, and individuals who are straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender. Through their monthly support group meetings they foster understanding and acceptance within families; and through their education and advocacy they seek to change hearts and minds in the Greater Cleveland community. PFLAG Cleveland meets every second Tuesday of the month at 6:45 pm in Trinity Cathedral (Euclid Ave & E 22nd St).